Glyn Carter

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I can't say I'm settled on what sort of writer I am. We need multi-stringed bows, right? 

I started writing screenplays, but came to realise that the movies are even harder to break into than publishing. One commonly heard peice of advice for screenwriters is: "Don't write a screenplay, write your idea as a novel, and sell the screen rights with your name down to do the first draft of the adaptation." Or: "Take the country lanes, son, because the motorway is jammed."

So I rewrote some of my short film scripts as short stories, with some success. I wrote a ghost story novella, then graduated to an historical novel. And now, while I wait for agents to rush to my inbox, I'm writing a fantasy adventure. Forthcoming: dystopian SF. Maybe even literary drama. I've written a couple of plays, too. As I said, I'm not settled on what sort of writer I am. Probably never will be. 

I live in Hastings, East Sussex, and I warm to art and architecture, live music, cricket, and Netflix.

Glyn Carter Discussions
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Just been told that my short story Olive has been selected for Cafe Lit online magazine! going out o…
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  •  · Very nice of you to say, Janet - thanks. You should be able to watch the film at…
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Calling any SF and/or detective fiction fans!Army of Me is a a science/speculative fiction novel in …
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  •  · At the risk of confusing things, and without re-reading all the previous pages, this use of omniscie…
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I'm trying to find out how agents get paid, and I can't get beyond the "15% on domestic, 20% on fore…
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  •  · As for agents being able to take clients with them - that, I suspect is a choice for all parties and…
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I was counting my rejections. Yes, it does get depressing, but let's see... 8 email rejections (pret…
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  •  · I once got a standard rejection from an agent's reader (nothing more than no thanks) for the usual 3…
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Has anyone used "Submissions Grinder"? It's a US-based website that lists hundreds of mainly US (but…
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I think I'm getting a similar issue to the one that Robert Pearce had a couple of days ago. The mess…
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  •  · Yup, did that and it works. There was an option under "Clear Browsing Data" to not clear saved passw…

Not wrong in principle, but not necessarily good in practice. I find "Was it wrong to want someone to talk to?" uninteresting because the correct answer is so obvious. Julie highlights nicely the possibility of building conflict, drama or intrigue into a short rhetorical question.

Actually she gives two variations. Her first example implies that the POV character has already done something inadvisable. Another example might be "Was it wrong for Paul to poison little sister's hamster?" - implying Paul has committed, or is planning, this crime.

The second example works by implying that the character desiresomething that most people would judge wrong: wanting a friend to fail. There's a built-in contradiction - what sort of friendship is that?

Either way, the reader is lured to learn more.

Very nice of you to say, Janet - thanks. You should be able to watch the film at

I've made a silightly longer version, but I'm at my storage limit on vimeo so I can't post it! Thre's not much difference, but it feels a bit less cramped than this, which was done for a 1.5-minute film contest. It's amazing how much story you can get into 90 seconds when you just use visuals.

If you're keen, you can find some other films I've done. If they don't appear next to Olive, it's easiest to watch via my website (check the volume slider next to the Setting icon is fully up - it defaults to off). There's some other stuff there for your entertainment, too

My early drafts have concentrated on telling the story. It's great to have this feedback on things like character and POV - thanks to you all.

That's all very perceptive, and valuable. Your point about avoiding establishing Harvey through backstory rings true to me, so I think the inciting incident has to stay where it is, structurally speaking. The challenge is to make the preliminaries engaging in themselves. Joe is a vital character, and I feel that overall I've undercooked him - so the balance between showing him and showing Harvey is a tricky one. The other thing I've beenthinking of is setting it on a world parallel to ours, but worse in every respect. Not a dystopia, but even more troubled by war, economic collapse, climate change and culture wars. That will strengthen the themes, and plant it firmly in SF-genre territory.

I'm not sure what you mean by the POV problem. I get that we go from close third to omniscient in the pub.  What do you mean by needing to establish POV sooner? Do you mean that I should let the reader get used to a greater distance before the pub scene? Are you saying I should show the lab scene from Harvey's POV, so the readers don't get used to being with Saffy all the time?

Tell me about it! this is the first acceptance for years. Trouble is my stories are too long for most of the more populist publications, and not literary enough - they concentrate on the yarn over language and slow revelation of a character's subtle inner life - for the (mainly American) literary mags.

Added a forum 

Just been told that my short story Olive has been selected for Cafe Lit online magazine! going out on 18th May at 4pm .They are well worth checking out if you have the kind of short story that wants to be read in a cafe!

The image is a still from a short film I made of the story. The film was recently picked for a local festival - clearly the stars are aligned for Olive! image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=712&dpx=1&t=1652350079

Well done Janet - I hope they are very successful.

Thanks for the link - based on that, it isn't YA. Saffy is too old, albeit not by much, and it's main themes are not those of YA. All useful - it means I needn't be nervous of darker and deeper stuff.

Thanks for your perceptive comments. I chose third person to allow switching different points of view - this happens more as the story develops. And I chose present tense for immediacy and because it tends to focus the writing on events rather than authorial overviews.

I too wonder if I should start with the murder... it is is as it is because I wanted to establish Saffy's normal world, and some themes. The murder happens about 5% of the way into the novel as a whole. That would be in the first five minutes of a film, which doesn't seem too late for the inciting incident. The question is whether the first 4% is engaging enough to pull you through to the end of the chapter.

And yes, Bjork. I doubt I'd have come up with that title without her. But it absolutely fits with what unfolds.

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